Work will be ongoing in the coming months to secure the future of Brighton based HIV charity, The Sussex Beacon. After facing potential closure due to funding cuts earlier this year, the charity is continuing through a period of change in order to become more financially stable.
The charity’s Trustees are in the early stages of developing a new strategy, and will be working with stakeholders to ensure The Sussex Beacon continues to meet the needs of local people living with HIV.
A management restructure is taking place, primarily to save money. The Chief Executive, Simon Dowe and Clinical Services Director, Jason Warriner have mutually agreed with the Trustees to step down from their roles. While both are respected experts in their fields and have been effective, professional and hard-working, funding losses have meant The Sussex Beacon is unfortunately unable to keep the roles in place as they are. Simon will remain at the Beacon until the end of the year and will be helping the transition through the Autumn. Jason will continue to be employed by The Sussex Beacon until the end of November.
Trustees plan to appoint a specialist Executive Director to work with staff and guide the charity through the period of transition in the year ahead. Plans are also in place to ensure that clinical services remain safe and high quality.
In addition to the measures outlined above, national charity Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) has offered support to The Sussex Beacon and the two organisations will be working closely together. THT will help with areas like IT, finance, and back office support.
Lynette Lowndes, Chair of Trustees at The Sussex Beacon said, “While we’re still providing high quality, personalised care for people with HIV, behind the scenes there’s a lot going on. Trustees are working on a new strategy, aiming to make the charity as financially robust as possible. Simon and Jason will be missed, they have both worked incredibly hard for The Sussex Beacon, including contributing significantly to us being rated ‘outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission. We’re so grateful to them, but we’ve agreed the restructure is essential as we try and ensure the charity is financially stable over the coming years.”
Lynette continued “I know that things are difficult for our staff and volunteers at the moment. They are doing a fantastic job, despite the recent uncertainty and we’ll do all we can to support them through this period of transition. We don’t want the charity to remain as it is, struggling from month to month and living with the threat of closure. We want to ensure we make changes that will allow The Sussex Beacon to keep its doors open, providing vital support to those who need us.”
The Sussex Beacon provides specialist support and care for people living with HIV through both inpatient and outpatient services. It helps hundreds of people living with HIV in Sussex each year and was rated ‘outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission last September.
For further information about The Sussex Beacon please visit www.sussexbeacon.org.uk.